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It's About Prime

6-19-2012


By Brian Baltosiewich

Full disclosure:  This column is about a podcast on that Radio Exiles site that I have something to do with. But it's an interesting story, and there's something to be learned here.

Once upon a time, there were three women in radio in Charlotte, NC, who were friends. Then they weren't in radio anymore, not by their own choosing.

Holly Haze was cut loose after 10 years, over the phone.

After 16 years, Jen Byrum was relieved of her gig right after she and her partner signed off their morning show. No warning.

"We never saw it coming," Jen said.

Sarah Waters, also gone without warning.

So, now what?

Hurt, confused, and now out of work, the three wondered about their future.

"I see it like a bad break-up," Byrum said. "The same way I would have given up on men and relationships for a while, I had to step back from the radio business for a while. I was hurt because my job was very personal to me. It was never just business to me."

Flash forward a couple of years, and the three have come together for a podcast at RadioExiles.com. Called "It's About Prime," the podcast covers the things that three women in their early 40s and working to reinvent themselves might talk about. And then some.

One of the things that make it interesting, are their own personal dynamics. Holly and Jen have children, Sarah has none. Sarah is a bit of a germ-o-phobe. Holly and Jen, not so much. Sarah reads. Holly and Jen, not so much.

For these three, a podcast made perfect sense.

"You can truly be yourself," Haze said. "No limitations."

When Holly says no limitations, she's not kidding. This podcast has been described by listeners as "filthy" and "Howard Stern with chicks." Seemingly no subject is off limits, and if there is one that's out of bounds, they admit they haven't found it yet.

"In radio you play a role," said Haze. "You have to be mindful of what you say and who not to offend. The fearlessness was always there, but we were told to play by the rules."

Byrum takes it a step further. " It frustrated me each day having to subdue myself on the radio. I was constantly being reeled in and redirected. Being wild, free, and fearless has always been who I am. Off the air, people couldn't believe how different I was. It was night and day. I hated those rules so much and constantly being contained --  and honestly, I did it their way for 16 years and still got fired. I've got nothing left to lose. That's the big lesson here. Always be true to yourself. "

As we've established, like hundreds of other podcast operations, Radio Exiles is still figuring it all out. Right now, the site has an audience and a trickle of income through affiliate agreements, but at the risk of being brutally honest, a precarious future.

"I hope we keep recording and telling our stories," said Haze. "It's real life. No script. No liner cards. Just real. Hopefully more people hear, more people enjoy, and we gain a fan base to make us huge! If not, we simply do it for the love of doing it."

It's a 60-minute weekly therapy session, is what it is. Listeners relate to the real-life, completely honest stories and emotions these three talk about.

For Byrum, it's become a real passion. "Podcasting has lit the spark again for me. It's everything I fell in love with originally about radio."

Listen to a new "It's About Prime" podcast every Wednesday at radioexiles.com.

Brian Baltosiewich has been a broadcast professional for more than 20 years. His podcast website, www.radioexiles.com features professionally-produced podcasts from radio pro's who have lost their gigs.
Reach out to him at brian@radioexiles.com or through their twitter account @radioexiles and on Facebook at radioexiles.com




(6/20/2012 9:52:09 AM)
I love that Robert and I have our "therapy appointment" on the same day (Wednesday) as the girls...if only the couch were big enough for all of us. Yes, I am again fantasizing...

- S!ick

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